This week's news.......

October 5, 2017

From Bishop Graves:

Preparing for Tropical Storm Nate

October 05, 2017

To our friends, neighbors, and churches in the Alabama-West Florida Conference:
Based on the most recent forecasts from the National Weather Service, it appears that Tropical Storm/Hurricane Nate will eventually have an impact within the Alabama-West Florida Conference. While the possibility of direct landfall is unknown, it is likely some of us will experience storms with heavy rain, winds, and perhaps tornados that often accompany hurricanes.
Rev. Rob Haynes, our AWF Disaster Response Team Coordinator, reminds us of things that we need to be doing nowto prepare for any such eventuality:

  1.  Back up your church and home systems (computers, databases, etc.) onto devices that can be taken with you should you need to evacuate, or to a location that will not be affected by the storms.
  2. Protect your electronic devices, sensitive equipment, musical instruments, organs, pianos, etc. Covering them with a tarp or plastic sheeting will protect them from leaks that might occur. Any equipment that can be elevated at least four inches off the floor will help prevent damage if waters do get into the building. Many computer towers sit on the floor under desks….put them up on the desk if you can.
  3. Protect your records and historical documents (technical drawings, pictures, paper files). Placing them in sealable, waterproof plastic bags within a safe or file cabinet would help if you cannot relocate them to a safe place.
  4. Secure your building, bringing inside loose items that could be blown around. This is especially important for church playgrounds.
  5. Verify that there is a contact list for all facility personnel, neighbors, family, etc. Do not rely on cell phones; land lines may be disrupted as well.
  6. Check on your fragile/elderly folks: are they evacuating? Where will they be going? If they are not leaving, who will check on them following the storm?
  7. Be aware of where shelters are in your community.

There are many resources for church preparedness and disaster protocols found on our Conference websiteClick here to see a video from Amelia Fletcher that is relevant to this forecasted storm
Our conference is blessed with able leadership, resources, and a spirit of courage and love – together we will handle whatever forces nature sends our way.
Be safe and be blessed,
Bishop David W. Graves

Prayer Concerns:

Please keep The Rev. Charlie and Jenny Satterwhite in your prayers.  Jenny's sister is having extensive surgery and will need prayers, care, and encouragement. Charlie currently serves the Theodore/Irvington Charge here in the Mobile District.  

Disaster Update From The Florida Conference

The Florida Conference is now requesting volunteers to help with their disaster recovery efforts. This is their message:

We need volunteers! Contact our call center at  855-CAT-FUMC (855-228-3862), or click here to complete the online volunteer registration form. 

If you plan to send a team, or if individuals want to join another team, please contact Rev. Rob Haynes at 251-270-2932 or in order to better coordinate our conference's efforts.

Please also keep track of your volunteer hours and report those to your district disaster response coordinator.

Thank you for helping the people of Florida recover from Hurricane Irma.

Upcoming Disaster Early Response Training

Be prepared to respond to the next disaster. Disaster Early Response Training (ERT) covers the basics of early disaster response, including roof tarping, cleaning out damaged homes, spiritual and emotional care, team protocols, and more. Click here for a description of what well-trained ERT teams look like. Click here for "Seven Important things to know about Disaster Spiritual and Emotional Care".

Proper credentials are required for individuals and teams responding in the first few days after a disaster. Participants who successfully complete this training will receive those credentials, including an ERT badge.  

Upcoming Sessions:

October 14, 2017 - Elba UMC

October 15, 2017 - Jubilee Shores UMC

October 28, 2017 - Lynn Haven UMC

Click here to find the current edition of the AWF NewsCONNECTION!

Here is a sample of what you will find there.......

A Word from the Bishop: Good News

(The Montgomery Advertiser) - These past three weeks have been filled with hurricanes, shootings, ongoing tensions in our political climate, contentious court decisions resulting in protests and violence, another terrorist attack and to much lesser degrees, heartbreaking college football losses. Then you dig deeper personally into your own life and it may have been filled with more difficult circumstances. Don’t we all need some good news? Several years ago, Brian Williams was the NBC evening news anchor. During the great recession of the late 2000s, people were losing their jobs, their homes and businesses were closing. The nightly evening news had become so depressing, people were asking, “Can’t you report something good for a change?” Brian Williams came up with the idea to end the nightly broadcast with a segment called, “Making a Difference." It was a news piece featuring people who were making a difference in their own lives and in the lives of their communities. It made a profound impact on the sending forth news segment, which focused on Good News. Full commentary here

Grant Application Deadline Extended to Oct. 4 

(GCORR) - The deadline for applications for the United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race Action Fund grant program, designed for empowerment of diversity, inclusion and racial justice work inside and outside the church, has been extended to Oct. 4. The 2018-2020 grant period will begin in May with $750,000 in available funding for programs in the United States. For more information.

Pine Grove UMC Recognized by UM Children's Home

Because of Pine Grove United Methodist Church's outstanding support of the United Methodist Church Children's Home (UMCH) they are one of the recipients of the 2016 Embrace UMCH Award for the Alabama West Florida United Methodist Conference. Pictured to the right is Robert Powell presenting a special plaque to The Rev. Jennifer Gregory at a recent Pine Grove UMC worship service.  Thank you Pine Grove UMC for your generous support of the United Methodist Children’s Home!

It is time to be thinking about your church's White Christmas program during the upcoming Advent Season.  The UMCH is very excited about new resources this year which includes a 2017 Advent “scratch off” calendar and other downloadable materials.  The Advent Calendar will be perfect for each church member to have in their home during the season and would also make a great take away for a Children’s moment.   

Click here to visit UMCH's White Christmas Website to find graphics, materials and more!

Click here to find the latest newsletter from McKemie Place!

Check out the Cook Off on Facebook by clicking here!



Job/Ministry Opportunities

Chapelwood UMC, Texas - Associate Director of Student Ministries

Spring Hill Avenue UMC - Part-time Children's Ministry Assistant
Toulminville-Warren Street UMC - Cafeteria Manager/Cook
Trinity UMC - Worship Leader/Musician

District Dates

Second Sunday of Each Month - North Mobile District SINGSPIRATION- 6pm

Clergy Coffee - First Wednesday of each month 8am – Cracker Barrel on Schillinger Road

October 7 - COT Mobile Books, Balls, and Blocks Event

October 26 - 12th Annual USA Wesley Foundation Cook-off and Auction

Church Dates

October 7 - Spring Hill Ave UMC Annual UMW Bazaar - 8am-2pm

October 14 - Tanner Williams UMC Movie in the Patch - 5pm

October 15 - Government Street UMC Wesley Classic Hymn Sing - 5pm

October 17 - Ashland Place UMC 75th Anniversary Speaker Series - Dr. Debora Bishop - Potluck at 5:45pm - Speaker at 6:45pm

October 21 - Tanner Williams UMC Fall Festival - 11am-1pm

October 24 - Ashland Place UMC 75th Anniversary Speaker Series - Dr. Darren McClellan - Potluck at 5:45pm - Speaker at 6:45pm

October 28 - South Brookley UMC Annual Bazaar - 7am - 2pm

October 28 - Tanner Williams UMC Trunk or Treat - 6pm

October 28 - At The Table: An Intentional Multi-Ethnic Gathering - St. John UMC Vision Center

Conference Dates

October 10-11 - Wesley Heirs Fall Event

October 14 - ERT Training, Dothan District

October 19-21 - Southeastern Jurisdiction - Black Methodists for Church Renewal (BMCR)

October 20-22 - UMW Spiritual Enrichment Retreat

October 23-26 - Prayer Shawl Retreat - Blue Lake

October 28 - ERT Training, Lynn Haven UMC

October 28 - At The Table: An Intentional Multi-Ethnic Gathering

November 13-16 - 2017-2020 Spiritual Direction Training

Click here to find The Alabama West Florida Conference calendar online!

Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors.